Sudan: Irish imams denouce teacher's arrest in Sudan

The Irish Supreme Muslim Council speaks out against the verdict of guilt issued by a Sudanese Court against a British school teacher for allegedly 'insulting religion'.
"The Irish Supreme Muslim Council vehemently abhors and deplores the verdict of guilt issued by a Sudanese Court against the British school teacher Gillian Gibbons for allegedly "insulting religion".
The Council believes that a full criminal trial and now custodial sentence over the naming of a classroom toy is abominable and defies common sense.

Indeed it has been clear from the outset that Ms Gibbon did not in anyway desire to malign the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and that the choice of name for the teddy bear had come from the children themselves. The only thing to come from this affair is for the name of Islam to be dragged through the mud yet again by bigots.

For Muslims across the world, education is of paramount importance particularly because the Prophet Muhammad himself commanded Muslims to seek knowledge wherever they can. Ms Gibbons was indeed a part of such a noble tradition of teaching others and we are appalled by her treatment and note that Sudanese Courts do not speak for true Islam, or Muslims in Ireland and Europe.

We are saddened that the Muslim world is silent on issues such as these and the punishment of the Saudi girl, but they are quick to issue decrees to justify and appease their political rulers. We call on the Azhar, who does not hesitate to issue decrees to appease Hosni Mubarak, and the Saudi scholars to forth-rightly condemn such unbecoming behaviour.

We also call on the Sudanese regime to resolve the Darfur crisis rather than concerning themselves with teddy bears."

Sheikh (Prof) Shaheed Satardien

Supreme Muslim Council of Ireland

Mohammed Al Kabour
Tel: +353 419812048

Sheikh (Prof.) Shaheed Satardien
Tel: +353 1 8218485